Set in Bangkok, Realms is two fascinating movies in one; one about a failed bank robbery, and the other about a haunted house. One is a breath-taking crime suspense; the other a slow-burning horror tale. This mix alone brings interesting elements to the table, but it’s the balance of both plot lines that wins us over. The film looks good and has a thick, eerie atmosphere.
Realms works us an appetite by revealing its cards oh so slowly, but, contrary to similar films, it feeds off the crime structure that got us hooked at the beginning. Sadly, when the horror kicks in, we get visions, hallucinations, and cheap jump scares rather than consequential stuff. It sucks. As it turns out, this film falls apart in the second half.
The best concepts, when it comes to frightening the audience, are skimmed by a screenplay that spends time in the wrong places. Cinematographically speaking, Realms is impeccable. That said, passed a certain point, it becomes paint-by-numbers. Soon, it will be a distant memory. And, why again does this story take place in Thailand? It didn’t add anything to the story.